Dépêches

Southwest Dispatchers Raise Questions About Safety and the Relationship Between LUV Airline and FAA over Flights to Central America for Aircraft Overhauls

Dépèche transmise le 23 juin 2009 par Business Wire

DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dispatchers at Southwest Airlines, represented by the Transport Workers Union (TWU), whose job is to guarantee flight safety, have raised “multiple safety concerns” about Southwest Airlines flights to El Salvador for major overhauls.

TWU Local 550 members also have been disturbed by what appear to be “an ongoing close relationship between the FAA and SWA.” The FAA has worked with Southwest to grant waivers for the Central America-bound flights, but the agency has not been forthcoming in answering dispatcher questions about safeguards and regulatory compliance. The agency’s lack of response to dispatchers, who are charged with FAA compliance and essentially serve as an airline’s safety officers, has become so absurd that the local union has resorted to putting a display on its Web site with the number of days without a response --20 days at the time of this release.

A letter to all dispatchers from the union’s leadership outlining problems with the El Salvador-bound flights can be found at the union’s Web site www.twu550.org .

Flight dispatchers at Southwest and other airlines are responsible for planning and monitoring the progress of an aircraft journey. Both the pilot in command and the dispatcher are legally responsible for the safety of a flight.

Transport Workers Union of America (TWU) represents 200,000 workers and retirees, primarily in commercial aviation, public transportation and passenger railroads, including flight attendants, ground workers and dispatchers at Southwest. The union is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.

Business Wire

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